The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
The ultimate book-lover's fantasy, featuring a young scholar with the power to bring literary characters into the world, for fans of The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, and The Invisible Library.For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can't quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob -- a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life -- hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life's duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world... and for once, it isn't Charley's doing.There's someone else who shares his powers. It's up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep Details

TitleThe Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherRedhook
ISBN-139780316452717
Rating
GenreFantasy, Writing, Books About Books, Science Fiction, Fiction, Adult

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep Review

  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    NOW AVAILABLE!mine came with a neat little library checkout card, proving the book was previously read by the likes of dorian gray and anna karenina! and soon, ME!
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    This book was on my to-read list, I guess I must have read about it somewhere as an "up and coming" fantasy book. Anyway, I added it to my to-read list and then later won it in a GoodReads giveaway. I wish I didn't have to give this such a low rating since the book isn't even out yet, but I just didn't care for it. There's just too much about the book that doesn't make sense to me. Like characters come out of books, but they don't behave according to their character in the book, they behave howe This book was on my to-read list, I guess I must have read about it somewhere as an "up and coming" fantasy book. Anyway, I added it to my to-read list and then later won it in a GoodReads giveaway. I wish I didn't have to give this such a low rating since the book isn't even out yet, but I just didn't care for it. There's just too much about the book that doesn't make sense to me. Like characters come out of books, but they don't behave according to their character in the book, they behave however the person that brought them out THINKS they could act. They come out of the book and are instantly at home in "our world" - they can even shapeshift and look totally different. It just doesn't make sense to me.I did not care for it.
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  • WS_BOOKCLUB
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It will be available for purchase on July 23rd.If you enjoy The Book Jumper, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, or even the TV show The Librarians, you’ll love this book. It celebrates the bond between a reader and a really good book. I fell in love with this book before the first chapter had even ended.Charlie Sutherland is a prodigy. Brilliant at languages, he teaches Dickensian literature at a university. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It will be available for purchase on July 23rd.If you enjoy The Book Jumper, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, or even the TV show The Librarians, you’ll love this book. It celebrates the bond between a reader and a really good book. I fell in love with this book before the first chapter had even ended.Charlie Sutherland is a prodigy. Brilliant at languages, he teaches Dickensian literature at a university. He also has the-sometimes unfortunate- tendency to read characters out of books. He can also put them back, but they don’t always want to go.The book opens with Charlie’s older brother Rob, receiving a phone call: Charlie’s accidentally read Uriah Heep out of David Copperfield and needs help catching him so that he can be read back into his book. When Rob and Charlie finally catch him, Uriah warns that a new world is coming, brought into being by another book summoner. From there, Charlie and his less-than-enthusiastic brother are drawn into a fight for both fiction and reality.I loved Charlie. He was a delightful combination of brilliance and naivete. He was a bit uncomfortable in his own skin unless he was discussing books. Then he had an enthusiasm and confidence that a was a ton of fun to read. He also looked up to Rob so much, and Rob couldn’t really see it.The book is told largely from Rob’s perspective as he’s drawn into a world where fiction and reality collide. He feels largely out of his element, and he’s a little resentful of Charlie for that. He was such a complicated character, often at odds with himself, and made for a great narrator.My other favorite character (the last one, I promise!) was Dorian Gray. He was selfish and intelligent, unsettling, and unapologetic about who he was or any choices he’d ever made. He was exactly the way he always seemed to me in Oscar Wilde’s book, and I loved every scene he was in.The twists weren’t very twisty; I saw them all coming. It didn’t dull my enjoyment of the book at all, however. It was highly entertaining, and surprisingly thought-provoking. I’ll definitely read this again in the future.
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  • Mary Nguyen (fox & wit)
    January 1, 1970
    Oh this was a delight! As a literature major this book hit deeply close to my heart!This book brings favorite classics to life (quite literally.) There's five Dr. Darcys in this book lol.This is a love letter to literature and academics who study literature. Even if you've never been a literature major, this book is a blast to read.What's charming is this book is really about two brothers who try to figure out who they are and work through their relationship with each other. At the heart it's a Oh this was a delight! As a literature major this book hit deeply close to my heart!This book brings favorite classics to life (quite literally.) There's five Dr. Darcys in this book lol.This is a love letter to literature and academics who study literature. Even if you've never been a literature major, this book is a blast to read.What's charming is this book is really about two brothers who try to figure out who they are and work through their relationship with each other. At the heart it's a story of siblings and it's really well done. I love the complexity built in their relationship.
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  • Celeste
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so excited about this one!!
  • J.A.
    January 1, 1970
    Starred review from Kirkus; touted as for fans of The Magicians , Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore , and The Invisible Library , but not The Eyre Affair ?
  • Shayne Wright
    January 1, 1970
    Goodreads Giveaway. Charles had an unusual birth and unusual abilities. A prodigy, he is a "summoner", one who engrossed in a story can pull the characters from the pages. He learns to put them back or does he? One day he and his brother Rob fall through a brick wall into The Street..... An alternate reality populated with living story characters. They learn that there is another summoner in town, one who wants to create a "new world", destroying all they hold dear. Banding together the battle b Goodreads Giveaway. Charles had an unusual birth and unusual abilities. A prodigy, he is a "summoner", one who engrossed in a story can pull the characters from the pages. He learns to put them back or does he? One day he and his brother Rob fall through a brick wall into The Street..... An alternate reality populated with living story characters. They learn that there is another summoner in town, one who wants to create a "new world", destroying all they hold dear. Banding together the battle begins. The age old "good versus evil" plot dressed in fresh, new clothes. Sherlock Holmes, David Copperfield, Dorian Grey, the White Witch, et al together in the same story??!! How delightful. An engaging read... maybe it's time to revisit the classics?
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  • Joelene Weeks
    January 1, 1970
    As literary invertebrates (aka bookworms) we love books, so books about books are like having our cake and eating it too, amiright?! Enter The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry, a story about a man who can bring characters out of books into the real world by reading, and the effects that has on him, his family, and the city in New Zealand where they live. The story opens with the accidental summoning and unlikely escape of the infamous Dickensian villain Uriah Heep and picks up steam f As literary invertebrates (aka bookworms) we love books, so books about books are like having our cake and eating it too, amiright?! Enter The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry, a story about a man who can bring characters out of books into the real world by reading, and the effects that has on him, his family, and the city in New Zealand where they live. The story opens with the accidental summoning and unlikely escape of the infamous Dickensian villain Uriah Heep and picks up steam from there.We see the events unfold through the first-person pov of Rob Sutherland, the older and non-magical brother of Charley, who is our summoner. Charley started reading characters out of books at the age of four, starting with The Cat in the Hat. (Can you even imagine?! How freaking awesome would that be as a kid?! Hell, even as a parent, I'll admit I'd be pretty stoked to meet the Cat! Lol) It wasn't easy, however, for Rob to be the older brother of a genius who graduated with a Ph.D from Oxford at the age of 19, who also just happens to be able to summon characters from books at inopportune times. It quickly becomes clear that Rob harbors quite a bit of resentment there but he still feels the need to try to protect Charley as much as possible while aslo complaining about it. So, (mostly) typical sibling stuff. When Rob and Charley are attacked by the Hound of the Baskervilles they realize that not only is there another summoner out there but they likely know Charley's secret and don't exactly want to be friends. What follows is a race to discover who the other summoner is, what they want with Charley, and how to stop them before innocent people (and characters) get killed. Along the way we meet a number of other easily recognizable (classic) literary characters, including Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Darcy, The White Witch, Dr. Frankenstein, and Dorian Gray, among others.This incredible story is a love letter to books, specifically Victorian era classics. It's a wonderfully well written fantasy, with a healthy dose of literary theory and analysis, interspersed with mystery, and laced with an examination of familial bonds and the love between brothers. A must-read for book lovers of all flavors.In a word: delightful!**Thanks to Redhook/Orbit and NetGalley for the ARC! All opinions are my own.**
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  • Charlotte Kinzie
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever wondered what it might be like if your favorite literary characters came to life? You may want to rethink that wish because it might not turn out very well at all.Charley was born with a unique gift. He can magically summon literary characters to life. When they arrive they are imbued with the characteristics that the reader has imagined… so it can be a bit unpredictable! Rob’s older brother has struggled with his relationship with his little brother now that they are in the same c Have you ever wondered what it might be like if your favorite literary characters came to life? You may want to rethink that wish because it might not turn out very well at all.Charley was born with a unique gift. He can magically summon literary characters to life. When they arrive they are imbued with the characteristics that the reader has imagined… so it can be a bit unpredictable! Rob’s older brother has struggled with his relationship with his little brother now that they are in the same city. He’s torn between feeling as though he needs to take care of Charley and wanting his little brother to be independent enough to deal with his own problems.This book is part love-letter to literary characters and part magical mystery. There are other characters dwelling in secret in the city and it becomes clear that someone else must have the same powers as Charley. Thus begins the mystery of where the characters are coming from and what they’re up to!I loved the relationship between Charley and Rob. The characters are well developed and Parry has definitely managed a difficult genre expertly. It’s not easy to add well-loved characters to your novel and make them unique and still true to their original! Bravo!You don’t have to have read Dickens etc to enjoy this book, but it will probably make it a lot more of an adventure if you have!
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  • BookwormishMe
    January 1, 1970
    Did you ever want to be able to have tea with one of your favorite book characters? Or visit a street in Victorian London? In The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, you can do those things. Dr. Charles Sutherland is an English literature professor with an unusual skill; he can “read” characters from books into existence. While this would be a fabulous skill to have, sometimes it can lead to unexpected consequences. What if the character is a fire-breathing dragon or a pre-teen girl detective who dec Did you ever want to be able to have tea with one of your favorite book characters? Or visit a street in Victorian London? In The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, you can do those things. Dr. Charles Sutherland is an English literature professor with an unusual skill; he can “read” characters from books into existence. While this would be a fabulous skill to have, sometimes it can lead to unexpected consequences. What if the character is a fire-breathing dragon or a pre-teen girl detective who decides she’d rather not be in the story any longer? When Charles encounters these situations, it’s up to his brother Robert to try to intervene and help him catch the escaped character.Part fantasy, part mystery, this novel fills a lot of genres. The novel takes place in New Zealand, but really could be based anywhere. New Zealand is not a character in this story. Charles is a very unique character and concept. His ability to bring book characters to life is a fun escape for the reader. When characters suddenly appear to be doing wrong, that’s when this book takes a turn for the worse and the mystery and suspense begins. Charles and Robert find themselves in a battle for good and evil from the pages of a book.I loved this book. The concept was so unique and fun to imagine. Robert is the perfect older brother who is exasperated with his younger brother. Charles is an enigma. Parry brings forth both classic English fictional characters and characters of her own making. The world created is exactly what one would expect from the classic literature referenced. Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Gray and Heathcliff are all exactly what would be expected from their own authors. Clearly Parry is an expert in English lit herself.While this novel is long, it’s a fun and entertaining ride through a fantasy world many of us would love to visit. Parry has done a wonderful job. This review will be posted at BookwormishMe.com close to publication date.
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  • Gina Dalfonzo
    January 1, 1970
    Drop whatever you're reading right now, and pick up this book. It is magnificent.
  • Eugenie
    January 1, 1970
    This is well-written fantasy that will appeal to book lovers. It deals with questions of reality, fate, family and love.
  • Virginia Ingham
    January 1, 1970
    What a great read! I couldn’t stop reading very hard to put down!
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Charley is a book summoner--a rare reader with the power to read characters out of their books, though it's much more difficult to put them back, as it turns out. Throughout history, even regular readers might form a magical connection with a certain character, bringing them to life our world, often without knowing it. Maui, Scheherezade, Heathcliffe, Matilda, the White Witch (who rides a motorcycle) all make appearances. Mr. Darcy is a reader favorite, understandably--there are five known versi Charley is a book summoner--a rare reader with the power to read characters out of their books, though it's much more difficult to put them back, as it turns out. Throughout history, even regular readers might form a magical connection with a certain character, bringing them to life our world, often without knowing it. Maui, Scheherezade, Heathcliffe, Matilda, the White Witch (who rides a motorcycle) all make appearances. Mr. Darcy is a reader favorite, understandably--there are five known versions, all a bit different according to the interpretation and era in which the reader lived!) But being fictional doesn't make them benign. When Charley accidentally summons the knife-wielding Dickensian villain Uriah Heep, he has to call his older brother Rob for backup. Uriah has a message for them: there's another summoner in the world, reading characters to life for a dark purpose...There's some wonderful metafictional romping in this book, and I enjoyed how literary analysis is used to inform the story. I especially loved the central relationship between Charley and Rob. Rob provides the narrative voice for much of the book, which is especially fun because as a lawyer he's an outsider in the academic and literati circles of his Oxford-grad little brother. Their relationship is quite a complex one, rooted in childhood jealousies and insecurities, and while they clearly care deeply for one another, they clearly drive each other up the wall. No matter how crazy the plot might get, their relationship always remains grounded and real. My favorite part might be when Charley and his brother stumble across a magical Victorian street populated by classic characters in their hometown of Wellington, New Zealand. They each have reactions that perfectly match their dispositions, and that section had me laughing. If you're looking for a fun read with a magical, classic lit touch, might I suggest this one?Thanks to Netgalley and RedHook Books for providing an advance reader copy of this book.
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  • Amy A
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Originally posted on Vampire Book ClubFor as long as he’s been alive Charley Sutherland has had the ability to bring forth literary characters from the books where they reside into the real world.For as long as Charley has been alive his older brother Robert has been picking up the pieces and cleaning up the messes that usually occur when bringing a literary character into the real world.On one such occasion, Rob is called to the university where Charley works to help apprehend one Uriah Hee 4.5 Originally posted on Vampire Book ClubFor as long as he’s been alive Charley Sutherland has had the ability to bring forth literary characters from the books where they reside into the real world.For as long as Charley has been alive his older brother Robert has been picking up the pieces and cleaning up the messes that usually occur when bringing a literary character into the real world.On one such occasion, Rob is called to the university where Charley works to help apprehend one Uriah Heep (of David Copperfield fame). Before Uriah can be sent back, he alludes to the fact that something big is on the horizon. Something that will change the world forever.Rob and Charley soon learn there is another Summoner in their midst. Someone who has been calling forth characters and using them to commit crimes. When a portal leading into a mysterious Dickensian London street appears, Charley will finally have to use the powers he’s tried suppressing his entire life in order to keep the real world from getting edited out.There is a lot to unpack with The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep. With so much, it’ll be difficult to talk about everything this book can/could/should/did allude to, but we’ll give it a try.I really think that this is one of the best literary mashups I’ve read in quite a while, giving me real Thursday Next vibes. I loved seeing all the familiar characters popping up. Most of them were expected (Darcy, Heathcliff, Dorian Gray, Artful Dodger etc.), some were a little unexpected (such as the Jabberwock), but all were fun to encounter. The best thing about these characters is that their personalities are often based upon the Summoner’s interpretation of the text which may vary from language translations or be influenced by a movie adaptation (I’m looking at you Darcy, who jumps into pools). H.G. Parry pulls the literary analysis together really well, in a way that’s accessible to any type of reader you might be.In the center of everything you have Charley and Rob, who fill in the roles of “chosen one” and “non-magical sidekick” respectively. Through that we see what is perceived as the certain responsibilities both roles often require within the literary world, but we also see how it’s not necessarily always easy to be the person in which the world’s safety rests or being the person who supports them. Rob and Charley have never had an easy brotherly relationship. Besides pulling characters from books, Charley is also extremely intelligent. Graduating high school at the same time as his older brother has been cause for accolades, but also for more attention because he was so young. So there’s a jealousy factor to their relationship, but there’s also the idea of the older brother wanting to protect his younger brother, to keep him safe. It’s instinctual for Rob, yet he also feels like it’s his obligation. I really enjoyed seeing the push/pull between them. Definitely a very familial focused story.Overall, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was a fun, interesting, adventurous read. Perfect for booklovers. I cannot wait to see what H.G. Parry has for us next.
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  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    "Liminal space. The space between two worlds. Where the light was strongest, there were no buildings---at least, none of bricks and mortar. They shone through with words. The city at the edge is dissolved into block texts, and the ground under my feet was shifting with printed sentences. In places the buildings look like thinly painted watercolor over newsprint. And others there were holes torn through walls or across the sky itself, and words teamed from those holes---or out of them, I couldn't "Liminal space. The space between two worlds. Where the light was strongest, there were no buildings---at least, none of bricks and mortar. They shone through with words. The city at the edge is dissolved into block texts, and the ground under my feet was shifting with printed sentences. In places the buildings look like thinly painted watercolor over newsprint. And others there were holes torn through walls or across the sky itself, and words teamed from those holes---or out of them, I couldn't tell. Everything was in motion. And noise. There was so much noise." To live and breathe in this particular liminal space feels like a dream world to readers like myself. A place where a person can't tell the difference between those that are fictional and those that are "real" seems ideal to someone who spends a lot of time in worlds that are fictional. While this book leans heavily into spaces created by Charles Dickens (if you know me you know I am so NOT a fan of that wordy fellow), the ideas and characters are so magical and philosophically interesting that it didn't matter to me that Dickens was front and center. The presence of Dorian Gray, Sherlock Holmes, the Hound of the Baskervilles, and other smaller "cameos" made this a lot of fun for someone with a Brit Lit degree. I imagine if you ARE a fan of Dickens, this would be even more fun and interesting than it was for me. Also, the Implied Reader and various critical lenses play an important role in this story, which was really interesting to think about as it relates to meaning, intention, and interpretation. I loved this book for so many reasons on a variety of levels. So much so, it made me consider reading Great Expectations. That's how good it is.
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  • Tawnie Mizer
    January 1, 1970
    So there is one book lately I haven’t been able to stop talking about since I got the ARC from the publisher and read it in a whirlwind of a few days. And that book is the The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by HG Parry. This beautiful book lovers dream of a story took me aback with it’s atmospheric portrayal of Victorian England, the sheer number of classic literary characters represented, and its complex and at times complicated relationship between the characters, particularly between the two b So there is one book lately I haven’t been able to stop talking about since I got the ARC from the publisher and read it in a whirlwind of a few days. And that book is the The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by HG Parry. This beautiful book lovers dream of a story took me aback with it’s atmospheric portrayal of Victorian England, the sheer number of classic literary characters represented, and its complex and at times complicated relationship between the characters, particularly between the two brothers.Charles Sutherland is a literature professor with a secret. He has always had this magical ability to bring any character he wants out of books and into the real world. Often times when he is reading a book and concentrating to much on it, they come out accidently without him really meaning for them too. Charles can put them back, but often they don’t want to return. His older perfectly normal brother Robert Sutherland with a house, a normal job, and a girlfriend, is not particularly happy about his brother’s ability, as he is often relied upon to help, and hopes that with disuse his brother’s ability will disappear. But one day when Robert is called upon to help his brother with one of his many “emergencies” the character extracted, Uriah Heep, starts to make threats that someone, he doesn’t know who, wants to create a new world where literary characters like him, can live their life openly in the real world. They soon find that this someone also has Charlie’s powers and will stop at nothing to see this vision succeed. Thus, begins the brothers chase to find out who this person is, and to stop him. Along the way they meet many interesting characters including Sherlock Homes, Darcy and Dorian Grey, among others, and many crazy impossible things ensue! When the brothers figure out each piece of the puzzle everything is meticulously reasoned out as to why and how it is happening. The sheer ingenuity of this book is amazing, and the literary theory presented as to how and why things happen would make any scholar proud. The setting is atmospheric and authentic and a place I didn’t want to escape. But at it’s heart it’s about two brothers and how they navigate their own relationship in the midst of also dealing with this world ending crisis and Charles’s magic ability that has always been the family secret. I loved seeing how Charlie grew from being very reliant upon his brother and uncomfortable and unsure of himself, unless he was discussing books, to someone who knew who he was and was comfortable in himself. But Robert’s inner growth to me was the most drastic and transformative, and as the entire story was mainly told from his perspective with little vignettes from Charlie’s journals, I think Robert’s story was also a little bit better developed. Robert who was always the protective one, who always went to Charlie’s aid whenever he was needed, realized that in protecting him and in him feeling that Charlie always needed protecting, that he was actually hindering Charlie from reaching his full potential. This realization for both of them of this co dependent relationship they had with each other and how they worked through it, was for me one of the strongest and most interesting parts of the story. I loved so many things about this story. I loved that it was a brother story, you don’t get many stories about brother relationships and it was refreshing to see. The setting was beautiful and atmospheric, the hint of romance was subtle and felt real, the amount of literary characters who had scenes in the book was so much fun to witness, the literary theory talked about was very concise and added a nice element to the story. But most of all I loved that this was a story that celebrates story and literature and the reader’s relationship to story.This story is a truly a tale for bibliophile’s and literature enthusiast’s everywhere and everyone no matter who they are should read this book when it comes out next week. Thank you to Red Hook Books and Hachette Publisher for my ARC for review!
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  • S.
    January 1, 1970
    Though not farcical like the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, this book is hilarious (if you're into classics, mostly from the 19th century, like I have been since childhood) and reminiscent of Thursday Next.One of the five Darcys:“...I can see him at a coffee shop, with an attractive young lady who has noted his resemblance to Mr. Colin Firth. He will doubtless be rude to her, and thus obtain her phone number."Five Mr. Darcys! One for me, one for you....moving on....Early on, I was focuse Though not farcical like the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, this book is hilarious (if you're into classics, mostly from the 19th century, like I have been since childhood) and reminiscent of Thursday Next.One of the five Darcys:“...I can see him at a coffee shop, with an attractive young lady who has noted his resemblance to Mr. Colin Firth. He will doubtless be rude to her, and thus obtain her phone number."Five Mr. Darcys! One for me, one for you....moving on....Early on, I was focused on a wish that at least one of the brothers was female. They're both white males, and most of the literature is British and 19th century (admittedly, I really got into 19th century British literature before adolescence). I even pictured Rob as an older sister (first person p.o.v.) until it was obvious that he was an elder brother.I'm disappointed that the author made Scheherazade a two-dimensional character--that is, a minor and silent character who's off in a corner shelving books and only cares about collecting stories. I wish the author had portrayed Sheherazade as brilliant, bold, innovative, imaginative (she made up those stories herself, fyi), plotting, and fearless. She would have been great as a major character in this book.But after a little while, I came to enjoy the book so much that I was less concerned over its relative lack of diversity, which comes to make sense as the plot moves on. Literary versions of Victorian England are a huge part of the novel, and for good reason.Anyway, it's delightful and amusing, especially for fans of classics.Update: after getting about 70% into the ebook, I see why the protagonist is a white male. I did not see that plot twist coming! Not to mention, the villain... well, you'll see.82% into the ebook, I realized that it's brilliant.
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  • Raquel Evans
    January 1, 1970
    This was like a grown up Inkheart meets the Thursday Next series with just a dash of Neverwhere. Plus, painfully accurate family and sibling dynamics... Just based on the story it probably could have been a five star book for me, but it didn't quite hit that status because of the writing style (not bad writing by any means, but also not quite great writing) and because I just didn't like the viewpoint character for most of the book (I think you're not meant to like him, at least not a lot, but i This was like a grown up Inkheart meets the Thursday Next series with just a dash of Neverwhere. Plus, painfully accurate family and sibling dynamics... Just based on the story it probably could have been a five star book for me, but it didn't quite hit that status because of the writing style (not bad writing by any means, but also not quite great writing) and because I just didn't like the viewpoint character for most of the book (I think you're not meant to like him, at least not a lot, but it still affected my enjoyment of the story). Overall, it was a lot of fun to read, and I recommend it to readers who enjoyed the books I mentioned above, or just those who have wished they could meet their favorite characters in real life. Because content issues were small to nonexistent--perhaps brief strong language? though I don't remember any specifically, no sexual content, some violence (the worst by burning, which was described, but not in any graphic detail), and some quite tense and emotional family related stress--I think even some younger teen readers would enjoy this book. Thanks to NetGalley for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review!
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    This book was on my radar for several months before its release. The concept alone was enough to make it an instant buy: A character who can "read" literary characters and objects into reality. But even that could have only been okay if it wasn't written right. And this was written very, very right! It's a love letter to stories and how we read them and what they mean to us. It's a story about families and identity and secrets and the nature of reality. There's a passage at the very beginning wh This book was on my radar for several months before its release. The concept alone was enough to make it an instant buy: A character who can "read" literary characters and objects into reality. But even that could have only been okay if it wasn't written right. And this was written very, very right! It's a love letter to stories and how we read them and what they mean to us. It's a story about families and identity and secrets and the nature of reality. There's a passage at the very beginning where Charley (one of my favorite recent characters) has written about how he reads books into reality. It took my breath away and I kept coming back to it. Same with the last few chapters. There's so much packed in there to ponder. I will definitely read this again, but maybe after reading some more Dickens, particularly David Copperfield, some more Sherlock Holmes, and maybe Dorian Gray as well. And I won't spoil the characters who make an appearance other than this: imagine the White Witch from Narnia riding into battle on a motorcycle...This is easily going to be part of my end of the year best books list.
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  • Diane Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    Who wouldn’t want to help their favorite fictional characters escape from the books that entrap them? Even with the occasional blunder like the Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, a villain from Dicken’s David Copperfield, being a summoner still sounds fun.However, when Charley realizes he is not the only summoner in the world, he and his quite normal brother must fight the other to protect the world from its most famous literary villains.While I don’t have a PhD in English Literature like the author Who wouldn’t want to help their favorite fictional characters escape from the books that entrap them? Even with the occasional blunder like the Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, a villain from Dicken’s David Copperfield, being a summoner still sounds fun.However, when Charley realizes he is not the only summoner in the world, he and his quite normal brother must fight the other to protect the world from its most famous literary villains.While I don’t have a PhD in English Literature like the author, I enjoyed this romp through British classics. I recognized most of the literary characters—even if some were met in graphic novels based on famous books. The book only references older works so no need to worry about wishing Hannibal Lector upon the world. My favorite part of the Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was the dynamics of the sibling rivalry and loyalty between the brothers. Overall, an excellent choice for Victorian book nerds and readers everywhere who would like to hang out with their favorite characters if only for an evening. 4 stars!Thanks to Redhook Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jacquelyn
    January 1, 1970
    David Copperfield, Mr Darcy (well actually 5 of them), Heathcliff, Sherlock Holmes, The White Witch (Narnia), Matilda, the Invisible Man, the Artful Dodger, Dorian Grey, Frankenstein, and Uriah Heep (obviously) as well as many others all in one book?! What more could a reader ask for?! The characters of popular stories come to life and are living outside of their books. It was so much fun seeing them interact with each other.This is very much a "reader's" book. It is one of those odd, quirky boo David Copperfield, Mr Darcy (well actually 5 of them), Heathcliff, Sherlock Holmes, The White Witch (Narnia), Matilda, the Invisible Man, the Artful Dodger, Dorian Grey, Frankenstein, and Uriah Heep (obviously) as well as many others all in one book?! What more could a reader ask for?! The characters of popular stories come to life and are living outside of their books. It was so much fun seeing them interact with each other.This is very much a "reader's" book. It is one of those odd, quirky books that don't seem like it should work but it somehow does. Much like Penumbra's 24 hr Bookstore or Soughdough (both by Robin Sloan) it was a gem of a story. I was easily pulled into Charley and Rob's story and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I think I had a smile on my face the whole time. If it was my copy (as opposed to a library copy) there would have been many passages marked for future references. I can definitely see myself purchasing my own copy to add to my collection in the near future.
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  • Jeannette
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a possible review. I am not even a huge fan of Dickens, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I really love Jasper Fforde's writing and this gave off a very Thursday Next kind of vibe. If you like the classics, especially Dickens, you may enjoy this book. Understanding where the literary references and analysis come from deepened my engagement with the story and made me think as well.The book is mainly told from the perspective I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a possible review. I am not even a huge fan of Dickens, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I really love Jasper Fforde's writing and this gave off a very Thursday Next kind of vibe. If you like the classics, especially Dickens, you may enjoy this book. Understanding where the literary references and analysis come from deepened my engagement with the story and made me think as well.The book is mainly told from the perspective of the brother of an avid reader and Dickens expert who happens to have a special ability. Sometimes the characters he is reading come to life. As the title suggests Uriah Heep is one of those characters and integral to the plot. If you know anything about Uriah Heep that can't possibly be a good thing. If you want to know more, I suggest reading the book. I'm not going to give any more away.The book was longer than I expected but kept a good pace. It made me want to reread Dickens which is something I never thought I would say. Certainly, it gave me a greater appreciation of Dickens.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July.Charley Sutherland is a researcher/librarian/literature theorist that ponders over literary characters and somehow loosens them to escape into the real world and his brother Rob, a successful lawyer, always rushes in to help and save him. They also banter and bicker constantly, which characterizes Rob immediately as the tutting straight man and Charley in the put-upon, can't help it, Laurel role. A The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July.Charley Sutherland is a researcher/librarian/literature theorist that ponders over literary characters and somehow loosens them to escape into the real world and his brother Rob, a successful lawyer, always rushes in to help and save him. They also banter and bicker constantly, which characterizes Rob immediately as the tutting straight man and Charley in the put-upon, can't help it, Laurel role. A part-time detective, part-time accountant Millie seems to share Charley's abilities, but, in fact, she polices some of his, her own, and some indistinct other’s real-world characters. Eventually, the street they live on alternately expands and self-destructs as the other unknown person wills it, so Charley is pressured to come into what the origin of his power is before the break between the literary world and the real world occurs.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    While I really enjoyed the concept of this book it can be a bit confusing at times. Two brothers, one is the caretaker always looking out for his younger sibling and trying to understand while the younger brother is a creative genius who is able to pull out characters out of books. You can see how this would be a problem. It seems that Charley is not the only one who has this gift and it is a race to stop the rogue characters from upsetting the universe. This is a very unusual and creative appro While I really enjoyed the concept of this book it can be a bit confusing at times. Two brothers, one is the caretaker always looking out for his younger sibling and trying to understand while the younger brother is a creative genius who is able to pull out characters out of books. You can see how this would be a problem. It seems that Charley is not the only one who has this gift and it is a race to stop the rogue characters from upsetting the universe. This is a very unusual and creative approach to a literary mystery. What adds to the fun or confusion is that you can pull more than one version of a character out of a book - say a younger and older version of Sherlock Holmes. If you are looking for a fun literary romp with an Alice in Wonderland feel then this is the book for you. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Susan Graves
    January 1, 1970
    For most book lovers, books come alive and are portals to a new world and new people from inside of these worlds. For Charlie Sutherland this is his reality. He can bring characters from books into our real world. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This could go one of two ways. For Charlie it has always gone very well until one day it doesn't. I can't say enough great things about this book. I can't love it anymore if I tried. It is full of magic and wonder and imagination that allows one to esca For most book lovers, books come alive and are portals to a new world and new people from inside of these worlds. For Charlie Sutherland this is his reality. He can bring characters from books into our real world. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This could go one of two ways. For Charlie it has always gone very well until one day it doesn't. I can't say enough great things about this book. I can't love it anymore if I tried. It is full of magic and wonder and imagination that allows one to escape the world.
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  • Lisa Marie Hagerman
    January 1, 1970
    Well written, great concept, great opening. But once you enter Act 2, the plot slackens. Not enough at stake in act 2. Other than some sibling rivalry, not much conflict in the middle to keep the story interesting (for me anyway—maybe Victorian literature geeks would disagree). It’s not until closer to the end of the book when the story picked up again and I began worry about what was going to happen to the protagonist’s brother. Reads like fan fiction of 19th century English literature.
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  • Frank Key
    January 1, 1970
    Although I tried really hard, I simply could not get into this one. I was constantly confused by different versions of the same characters and who was in which reality. Besides, I didn't like the original novels the first time through 5 or 6 decades ago. 480 pages was much too long for a 250 page story.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    I love books about book characters coming alive. While this isn’t quite as zany as Thursday Next, it’s still a clever twist on the idea of being able to read characters in and out of books. 3 stars overall because I thought the mix of point of views didn’t really work and I wasn’t really sold on the actual conflict and “bad guy” but 4 stars for the concept and literary inside jokes.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Despite what felt like a brief and arbitrary ending, this book was quite enjoyable. If you're not a scholar of Victorian literature you may not get many of the references as the plot unfolds, but if you are it's quirky and entertaining. If you're not, it's a quality read anyway, delving into familial ties and fact versus fiction in an engaging way. All in all, an enjoyable and fun read.
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